Dr. Jessica Piombo is a comparative politics scholar specializing in African politics, post-conflict statebuilding, transitional regimes, dynamics of foreign assistance, African security, and U.S. engagement with sub-Saharan Africa.
Associate Professor Department of National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, CA
Over the course of my career, I have written and given talks about South African politics, with a focus on elections and party politics; electoral systems and conflict management; mediation and the end of Burundi's civil war; African security, and the United States' interests and military involvement in Africa, I have engaged in election monitoring in Nigeria and South Africa, and have served as a subject matter expert (African politics) in a variety of consultancies.
I've taught courses on comparative politics, resource conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, ethnic politics and conflict worldwide, Southern African politics, United States foreign policy towards Africa, African politics through film and fiction, and research methods.
In addition to traditional classroom education, I've taught in diverse locations: on board U.S. navy ships, at military installations in multiple countries, and as part of mobile education teams in South Africa, Sierra Leone, and the Republic of Congo.
My current research focuses on the dynamics of external engagement in statebuilding and peacebuilding, conflict management via mediation, and democratic participation outside of elections.
Beyond the scholar
I strive to constantly learn about the world around me, to understand how people in various cultures view their world, and to seek out new experiences. An anthropologist friend of mine has noted that I at times seem more anthropologist than political scientist, because I'm always looking at the context in which things happen. On a personal level, I'm an avid photographer and ceramicist, and I absolutely love to create things out of clay. It's exciting to visit pottery studios during research trips in Africa, to see and learn a completely different approach to pottery.